Google is reportedly working with payment solutions provider Square on a new mobile wallet solution aimed at competing with the likes of Apple Pay.
The two companies have reportedly been testing the new system, called Plaso, since last fall. Google’s Android operating system would allow its users to speak their initials to verify transactions.
In addition to launching its Square Market in 2013, Square is best known for its Square Reader and Register payment processing solutions which allow physical merchants to accept credit card purchases from a mobile device or iPad.
Apple Pay launched its wallet payment solution last fall and has enjoyed relative success thus far.
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Google’s Wallet launched in 2011 but failed to attract much of a following. The hope is that their partnership with Square, whose mobile card reader solution has supported smartphones since 2010, will give it traction with consumers and retailers. Square’s mobile card reader has found a niche with small businesses.
Perhaps more significantly, Square may be ditching the iPads it supports in favor of an Android-based version of its own.
Despite its relative success, critics have argued that Apple Pay merely added an additional layer to the existing credit card network. Some have suggested that Bitcoin as a payment system is more efficient because it cuts out the middlemen. Apple Pay does not work with Bitcoin, and any future compatibility remains speculative and theoretical.
Square, however, does support Bitcoin payments. Last year, Square Market began accepting bitcoin and was reportedly working on an in-store solution as well. It remains to be seen whether such functionality will be extended to its new solution with Google.